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Nesivei Yeshurun al HaTorah1 (פרשת תולדות) cites a story where the Sefas Emes implies that he started at a lofty spiritual level due to the greatness of his illustrious grandfather, the Chidushei HaRI"M. To convey this idea, the Sefas Emes employs the analogy of a small child born at the summit of a lofty mountain: ואלה תולדות יצחק בן אברהם אברהם הוליד ...


One place this is mentioned is the Chafetz Chaim's Toras HaBayis (ch. 10). The Chafetz Chaim notes the symbolism in how the angels on the ladder in Ya'akov's dream were either ascending or descending but could not remain static on the same level (B'reishis 28:12). The Chafetz Chaim generically cites "the holy sefarim" for this interpretation of the verse, ...


Taz Yoreh Deah 293 (s'if kattan 4): דחייו של אדם תלוי בשתית שכר


Here's my guess from Maseches Avos. פרק א - משנה יג וּדְלָא מוֹסִיף, יָסֵיף The Bartenura explains ודלא מוסיף. מי שאינו מוסיף על לימודו: יסיף. יסוף מפיו מה שכבר למד וישכח תלמודו. Whoever doesn't add to his learning will forget what he already learnt.

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